• Grace paired with McIlroy

    Grace
    The two stars share a tee time on Thursday

    Branden Grace begins his defence of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at 10:51am alongside Haotong Li and Rory McIlroy.

    READ: How Grace plans to defend NGC title

    Last year, Grace became the first South African to win the event since it became part of the European Tour schedule with an 11 under par total.

    Li enters the week in excellent form after narrowly missing out on his maiden Rolex Series win, as he was defeated by Justin Rose in a playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open. However, his confidence will be high having not finished outside the top 11 in his last four starts.

    ALSO READ: Course to play firm, fast

    Rory McIlroy tees it up at Sun City for the first time since 2009 and has unfinished business in South Africa after his playoff defeat to Graeme Storm in the 2017 BMW SA Open.

    The 10:07am trio of Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia and Andy Sullivan will no doubt attract the crowds in Sun City.

    Garcia comes into the event rejuvenated after Ryder Cup success and a win at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, whereas Schwartzel will be looking to put on a show in front of the home crowd.

    Sandwiched in between these two is the 10:29am grouping of Louis Oosthuizen, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    Oosthuizen, like Schwartzel, will be looking to become just the seventh South African to win the event since its inauguration in 1981, however will face tough competition from his group alone.

    Aphibarnrat has recently found some form thanks to a T6 finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions, with Fitzpatrick picking up his fifth European Tour title earlier in the year at the Omega European Masters.

    Click HERE to see the full list of tee times.

    Article written by